Saturday, November 05, 2011


    I was reading back over one of my columns the other day and a typo jumped out and stung me like a yellow jacket. I hate it when I mess up. As I've mentioned before – If I'd realized when I was young that I wanted to be a writer, I would have paid better attention in English class.
   I got to thinking about this today when I read a Facebook update from one of our friends who got a big promotion and was starting her first day of work in New York City. One of her friends had sent a note congratulating her on the promotion. She is a Christian and it was her intention to respond to the complement as she often does, “all things are possible through Christ”. But my friend fat-fingered the reply and what she actually typed out for the world to see was, “All thongs are possible through Christ.”
   I howled when I saw it and I'm hoping I won't burn in purgatory, but it really struck me funny. Obviously when she realized the error she apologized profusely, but anyone who knows her realizes that she would never have written that intentionally.
    When my friend Dale Short and I worked at The Community News back in the early 1970's, a prominent citizen passed away. The family called in the obit and the secretary took it down over the phone. The obit passed between several people before it made its way onto the printed page.
    When the obit came out on Wednesday, it read “John Doe assed away on November 2.” Dale, who was at the time, the youngest newspaper editor in the state of Alabama, went pale as a ghost when he read the snafu. I heard a guttural sound that came from somewhere deep inside and when it finally raked past his tongue came out as “OOOOHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”
   I scrambled out of my chair knocking my wire in-basket off my desk and scattering papers all over my end of the office. When I stepped behind him, he pointed out the typo.
Just the the phone rang and we both jumped as if we'd be zapped with a cattle prod. I was the first to say – I'm not answering it, but it was obvious that Dale was in no hurry to answer it either. We both stared at the phone as if it were a coiled snake ready to strike at the first thing that moved.
   Just then we heard the receptionist breeze through the front door and race to the ringing phone before either Dale or I could warn her away. A moment later she chirped cheerfully, “Dale, Mrs. Doe on line one.”
   I looked at him with that deer in the headlights look but Dale, ever the professional picked up the and tentatively said hello. I was expecting him to start apologizing profusely, but after a few seconds he began to laugh almost hysterically. I thought to myself – he's snapped!
   As it turns out, Mrs. Doe wasn't angry at all. She said to Dale – “I know John could be a slacker at times but I really didn't the he assed away.” Both of us were grateful that she had a sense of humor and took the high road to the misprint. We could have hugged that woman's neck at that moment.
    So today, I'm reading this column several times to try and make sure there are no typos.

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  1. Anonymous6:40 PM

    Dodged that bullet!

  2. Real life makes for the funniest of stories!

  3. I love typos. Sometimes they're just so funny. FYI: you did have one - see if you can find it! But you know what does the best typos? An iPhone sending a text message. I've sent some doozies. You have to make sure to read carefully before you press "send" as the iPhone likes to "correct" what you typed.

  4. Yes, Karen is right...before I knew the I-phone auto corrected, I sent messages that I had calls about...yikes!
    Thanks for my giggle for the funny!!

  5. PS. I saw two typos...FYI..ha!

  6. Thanks for the LOL moment!

    Best laugh I've had all day.

  7. We all have those typos.. you can still correct them months later.. I've actually done that... most times I just let 'em be! I just recently learned that Blogger has spell check.. ha ha

  8. A friend told me about a hilarious typo in his church bulletin. The church had no official music minister, so each week a layperson would lead the congregational singing. The bulletin always would have the person's name: "Leading in Singing: John Doe" This particular week, the secretary must have gotten distracted as she was typing up the bulletin. That Sunday morning for all to see, the bulletin read, "Leading in Sin: John Doe"

  9. Is this the article that got refused? I see nothing more than amusing observations on something that happens to the best of us :-)

  10. This blog post made me laugh! Thanks!

  11. Oh, yes, we all know the felling of finding misteakes long after them has dome been printd. :\

  12. Very funny stories! My Mom sent me a recipe for zucchini bread and the instructions said to "mix ingredients in a large bowel"...since I work in surgery I got a good laugh at that!


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